Students, faculty, and alumni open up about their ideas for social change.
An award-winning website of stories that spark conversation, inspiration, and social action within the Brown community.
What is" engaged scholarship"? An audio series of faculty and students partnering with the community to advance scholarship and benefit the world beyond Brown.
by Isabel DeBre '17, Storyteller for Good
25 stories told by community leaders boldly and creatively tackling social issues in Providence.
Recent Stories on Sparks
Kelly is a member of the College Advising Corps at Brown, an AmeriCorps program focused on strengthening college access in underserved communities through near-peer advising. Each year, recent grads are placed throughout Rhode Island's public high schools to serve as full-time advisers. She was born and raised in Rhode Island and is honored to return to her community to serve at her former high school.
Professor Sarah Besky is alternately described as a “goddess” (by her students), as “a thorn in corporations’ sides” (by herself) and as an anthropologist (by the rest of the world).
She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown and author of The Darjeeling Distinction, an ethnographic study of the lives of tea plantation workers in India. Here is an anthropological look at her journey from coastal Connecticut to lush Nepal and back to Providence.
Olivia’s commitment to Swearer runs deep. She helps lead and coordinate Rhode Island Urban Debate League (RIUDL), which empowers local high school students to project their voices through debate, and increases their college readiness and academic success (see her wonderful story on RIDUL here).
Recently, she has been grappling with how to make the Swearer Center more inclusive of students of color. It’s a crucial conversation for all public service centers - and universities in general - and I wanted to know her process.
Sierra Ed '18, Kara Roanhorse '18, and Phoebe Young '17 organized the Indigenous People’s Demonstration on Columbus Day, a protest centered around a petition to have Brown change the name of the holiday, currently known as Fall Weekend, to Indigenous People’s Day. They also held a “die-in” on the Friday before Columbus Day, in which students lay down silently for 52 minutes and 30 seconds to represent the 523 years of indigenous oppression since 1492.
Sierra and Kara are Navajo and Phoebe is Ojibwe. They spoke with me about their motivation for the protest, their transitions to college, and their identities as Native Americans.